, Muskogee, OK

November 7, 2013

Black builds pressure to crush white

By Eric Morrow
Chess Corner

— Just as too much weight may cause a truck or a bridge to crash or fall from the pressure, black’s bishops, rooks and queen place white’s position and king near the tipping point.

Black’s next move and its progeny tip over white’s position. With this hint in mind, please try to find black’s best move and plan of attack.

The convergence of the black queen and its b7 bishop on the white knight on f3 weighs a ton. Increasing the load on white’s defenses is black’s rook on g8, which has white’s king in its line of sight. With so much pressure, black has several good options, such as freeing black’s other rook on d7 by moving the dark square bishop on d6 to c5 or b8.

Black’s best move, however, is directing its knight to g5. Now the weight on white’s knight on f3 is unbearable, as the knight hop unblocks the black bishop’s pin on the white knight.

If white replies to the knight hop by moving its g3 pawn to g4 and attacking black’s queen, black’s queen mates white from h3.

Other than tempting black with mate, there is nothing white can do to prevent black from winning white’s knight on f3. White’s best reply is to retreat its king to f1. Black’s queen takes white’s h3 pawn and checks white. White’s rook blocks the check from g2, and black knight captures white’s knight on f3.

Black now threatens queen to h1, check, followed by queen takes rook, mate.

White’s position has collapsed like a broken bridge. But first black had to build a bridge of its own. This week’s lesson is that chess players are like politicians who will double-cross a bridge when they come to it.